If you have been accused of drunk driving in Florida, you may be able to mount a successful defense depending on your specific situation. You have the right to a defense even if you had a couple of drinks before being pulled over by law enforcement.
Challenging the officer’s observations
The most commonly used drunk driving defenses involve challenging the arresting officer’s observations about the incident. These are essential facts you try to prove that contradict the allegations. Affirmative DUI defenses include:
• Mistake of fact
• Involuntary intoxication
Other commonly used DUI defenses involve some type of improper action. For example, the arresting officer may not have had cause to make the traffic stop that resulted in the DUI charge. The administration or the accuracy of field, portable and standard Breathalyzer and blood tests can be challenged. The time between the traffic stop and the administration of any tests can also become an issue. Less common defenses include claiming that the accused was not the driver of the vehicle or that improper police actions, like faking a DUI report or violating the accused’s civil rights, occurred.
Avoiding long-term consequences
A DUI conviction can have long-term consequences that go beyond jail time. You may face stiff fines, revocation of your driver’s license and higher insurance fees if your blood alcohol level is above 0.08, the legal limit for intoxication. It’s important to fight the charge, even if it is the first DUI, if you want to avoid the negative consequences of a conviction.
The penalties rise with each DUI conviction you face. If you reach a fourth DUI conviction, you could have permanent license revocation. Those convicted of drunk driving may also have difficulty getting future employment opportunities, so it’s in your best interest to get charged reduced or dropped.